For chronically unemployed, more bad news in Calif

MERCED, Calif. (AP) -- Across California 93,000 unemployed workers will receive more bad news: federal long-term benefits for chronically unemployed workers are set to expire.

On May 12, they will join 670,000 other jobless Californians whose benefits have already run out.

A drop in the state's unemployment rate to 11 percent -- its lowest mark in three years -- is triggering the federal cutoff of the benefits that were granted by Congress to help laid-off workers during the recession.

Under federal law, the rate of unemployment must be 10 percent higher than for the previous three years for the extended benefits to remain in each state. California's rate has been declining.

The federal program gave the unemployed up to 99 weeks of benefits, the longest on record

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